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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fracking ban passes Senate

OLYMPIA – Hydraulic fracturing – a process of injecting water into the ground under pressure that is commonly known as fracking – to find and produce oil or natural gas isn’t used in Washington state. On Wednesday, a divided Senate voted to keep it that way.

On a 29-to-18 vote, Senate Democrats passed and sent to the House an anti-fracking bill, defeating efforts by some Republicans to alter the statewide ban and allow the process in Eastern Washington.

“It’s not going on anywhere in the state, and I don’t think we should allow it,” said Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, D-Sequim.

Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, said finding more sources of energy will have increasing importance as the state’s population grows and people were pushing natural gas as a replacement to coal until recently.

“It’s a sad day that we unilaterally take something off the table,” Short said.

But Sen. Jesse Saloman, D-Shoreline, the bill’s sponsor, said the state should be moving in another direction for its energy: “Should we be drilling for more fossil fuel, or should we be moving to renewable energy?”